Jessica Young is an elementary/middle-school art teacher and author. The same things make her happy now as when she was a kid: dancing, painting, music, digging in the dirt, picnics, reading, and writing. Her debut picture book "My Blue is Happy" was a 2014 Charlotte Zolotow Highly Commended Title and was featured on multiple best-book lists. She lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee.
James Burks spent fifteen years working in the animation industry on various movies and television shows, including "The Emperor's New Groove," "Atlantis," "Treasure Planet," "Space Jam," "The Iron Giant," "Wow Wow Wubbzy," and most recently on "Fan Boy & Chum Chum." James is the author of the Bird & Squirrel graphic novel series for Scholastic, as well as the illustrator for the Branches series Haggis and Tank Unleashed. James lives in Valencia, California.
Praise for Branches books:
"These books should be considered for larger libraries wanting to enhance their easy-reader collections." -- "School Library Journal"
"Plenty of drawings assist readers with plot development." -- "School Library Journal"
"A nice stepping stone to more advanced chapter books." -- "Booklist"
"We are absolutely desperate for these books. Thank you for recognizing and addressing [this] monumental gap in the market." -- Andrew Medlar, Youth Materials Specialist, Chicago Public Library
Praise for "Haggis and Tank #1: All Paws on Deck"
"Young...engag[es] her heroes in enticing banter and funny misunderstandings involving puns and homophones. It's especially gratifying to see that the big, tough, strong dog character is a female. Burks' plentiful, full-color art is consistently engaging...Kids dipping a toe into the waters of early chapter books will find themselves challenged by the text while simultaneously enticed by the alluring art. These salty sea dogs put the bite back in buccaneering." -- "Kirkus"
Two canine pals star in this entertaining, comics-style chapter book series for early readers The spare, easy-to-read main text describes the events, and the stylized, full-color cartoon illustrations, complete with amusing speech-balloon conversations and asides, expand the story. Tank and Haggis have many homophone-related miscommunications, a concept which both helps aid reading comprehension and boosts the funny factor the animated, distinctly drawn characters will have kids seeking their future adventures. -- "Booklist"
There's more than a little Abbott and Costello in the goofy, misunderstanding-laden relationship between two dogs in this first book Young crams their dialogue with Who's on first? -style homophones Burks keeps the book's six chapters zipping along in lively full-bleed images and panel sequences. The dogs' odd-couple antics, loads of goofy humor, and an appealing comics/early reader format make for an all-around entertaining read. -- "Publishers Weekly"